Reviews

Quiet Riot

Adam Williams
Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot

City: New York
Venue: Don Hill's
Date: 2003-04-10

Blast from the Past . . . Two decades ago a little known metal band emerged from anonymity and shocked the world by demolishing the pop charts with its third studio recording. That band was Quiet Riot and the album was 1983's Metal Health. Anchored by the raucous cover version of Slade's "Cum On Feel The Noize", the album went multi-platinum and garnered Billboard's top slot, a feat no metal act had previously achieved. Despite massive record sales and regular MTV video airplay, Quiet Riot was never fully embraced by critics. Often viewed as absurd and cartoonish, as much for their song lyrics as for the antics of front man Kevin DuBrow, the band was ultimately unsuccessful in following up the tremendous success of Metal Health. Personal demons and inter-group acrimony eventually fractured Quiet Riot, and the ensuing years saw various incarnations of the band appear and disappear without much fanfare. The fact remains that Quiet Riot was a damn good band that really never got the respect it deserved. Not nearly as dark as Sabbath, but far ballsier than most of the metal poseurs following in their footsteps, Quiet Riot fell somewhere in between Def Leppard, Judas Priest and Motley Crue. Heavy riffs were incorporated with an overall sense of partying and fun, creating a simple template for some pretty decent music. Now, twenty years after Metal Health's release, Quiet Riot is back, showing that they still know how to kick some ass, even in middle age. Last Thursday, the brick bunker known as Don Hill's, in conjunction with New York Classic Rock radio station Q104.3 and DJ extraordinaire Eddie Trunk, presented an evening with Quiet Riot. Any doubts that the band still has what it takes to rock were quickly dispelled as fans were treated to seventy-five minutes of favorites and greatest hits. Throughout the set, Kevin DuBrow proved that he can still peel paint with his trademark shriek, while bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Frankie Banali laid down a deafening rhythm, and guitarist Carlos Cavazo demonstrated than he remains one of the unsung shredders of the '80s by tearing through his guitar parts in vintage form. The set list culled material primarily from three albums, Metal Health, Condition Critical, and Guilty Pleasures, as the show started with a terrific rendition of "Vicious Circle". "Slick Black Cadillac" and the title track from Terrified followed, leading into the band's second most popular Slade cover, "Mama Weer All Crazee Now". One quarter into the set it was obvious that the boys were having a great time being onstage together once again. The band missed nary a beat by filling the set with stellar versions of "Feel the Pain", "Sign of the Times", "Guilty Pleasures", and "Born to Rock". As the show's energy was peaking, a momentary tempo downshift occurred with the ballad "Thunderbird", although things picked back up again with "Danger Zone" and "Love's a Bitch". Having gotten the crowd sufficiently revved up, DuBrow took a break and let Cavazo steal the show with a blistering metal guitar solo that would have made Randy Rhoads proud. The final four songs gave fans nothing less than what they had come for: pure unadulterated head banging bliss. A tremendous "Psycho City" segued into "Cum On Feel the Noize" as DuBrow led the crowd sing-a-long. If this was not sufficient to keep the faithful happy, then the surprise of the night surely was: a rollicking cover of the Who's "My Generation", followed by show stopper "Bang Your Head". As the final chords reverberated off the walls, everyone in attendance knew that they'd gotten their money's worth. Shortly after leaving the stage, the band convened in the rear of the club to greet fans and sign whatever was placed in front of them. The enthusiasm of those in attendance was shared by Quiet Riot themselves; all four band members were as gracious and appreciative as one could imagine. A bit older and wiser, Quiet Riot is without question a class act, and seeing the original Metal Health line-up was a treat for all. All these years after their moment in the spotlight, the boys in Quiet Riot continue to give the finger to the music establishment by putting on a great live show. Additionally, as the proliferation of lame reunion tours continues by hair band lightweights like Poison, Skid Row and the reconstituted Whitesnake, it's apparent that Quiet Riot remains one of the few '80s metal acts worth seeing. The arena tours and platinum albums may be just a memory now, but Quiet Riot still delivers. What more could anyone ask for?

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

Run the Jewels - "Ooh LA LA" (Singles Going Steady)

Run the Jewels' "Ooh LA LA" may hit with old-school hip-hop swagger, but it also frustratingly affirms misogynistic bro-culture.

Books

New Translation of Balzac's 'Lost Illusions' Captivates

More than just a tale of one man's fall, Balzac's Lost Illusions charts how literature becomes another commodity in a system that demands backroom deals, moral compromise, and connections.

Music

Protomartyr - "Processed by the Boys" (Singles Going Steady)

Protomartyr's "Processed By the Boys" is a gripping spin on reality as we know it, and here, the revolution is being televised.

Music

Go-Go's Bassist Kathy Valentine Is on the "Write" Track After a Rock-Hard Life

The '80s were a wild and crazy time also filled with troubles, heartbreak and disappointment for Go-Go's bass player-guitarist Kathy Valentine, who covers many of those moments in her intriguing dual project that she discusses in this freewheeling interview.

Music

New Brain Trajectory: An Interview With Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree

Two guitarists, Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree make an album largely absent of guitar playing and enter into a bold new phase of their careers. "We want to take this wherever we can and be free of genre restraints," says Lee Ranaldo.

Books

'Trans Power' Is a Celebration of Radical Power and Beauty

Juno Roche's Trans Power discusses trans identity not as a passageway between one of two linear destinations, but as a destination of its own.

Music

Yves Tumor Soars With 'Heaven to a Tortured Mind'

On Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor relishes his shift to microphone caressing rock star. Here he steps out of his sonic chrysalis, dons some shiny black wings and soars.

Music

Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras' tētēma Don't Hit the Mark on 'Necroscape'

tētēma's Necroscape has some highlights and some interesting ambiance, but ultimately it's a catalog of misses for Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras.

Music

M. Ward Offers Comforting Escapism on 'Migration Stories'

Although M. Ward didn't plan the songs on Migration Stories for this pandemic, they're still capable of acting as a balm in these dark hours.

Music

Parsonsfield Add Indie Pop to Their Folk on 'Happy Hour on the Floor'

Happy Hour on the Floor is a considerable departure from Parsonsfield's acclaimed rustic folk sound signaling their indie-pop orientation. Parsonsfield remind their audience to bestow gratitude and practice happiness: a truly welcomed exaltation.

Music

JARV IS... - "House Music All Night Long" (Singles Going Steady)

"House Music All Night Long" is a song our inner, self-isolated freaks can jive to. JARV IS... cleverly captures how dazed and confused some of us may feel over the current pandemic, trapped in our homes.

Music

All Kinds of Time: Adam Schlesinger's Pursuit of Pure, Peerless Pop

Adam Schlesinger was a poet laureate of pure pop music. There was never a melody too bright, a lyrical conceit too playfully dumb, or a vibe full of radiation that he would shy away from. His sudden passing from COVID-19 means one of the brightest stars in the power-pop universe has suddenly dimmed.

Music

Folkie Eliza Gilkyson Turns Up the Heat on '2020'

Eliza Gilkyson aims to inspire the troops of resistance on her superb new album, 2020. The ten songs serve as a rallying cry for the long haul.

Music

Human Impact Hit Home with a Seismic First Album From a Veteran Lineup

On their self-titled debut, Human Impact provide a soundtrack for this dislocated moment where both humanity and nature are crying out for relief.

Music

Monophonics Are an Ardent Blast of True Rock 'n' Soul on 'It's Only Us'

The third time's the charm as Bay Area soul sextet Monophonics release their shiniest record yet in It's Only Us.

Film

'Slay the Dragon' Is a Road Map of the GOP's Methods for Dividing and Conquering American Democracy

If a time traveler from the past wanted to learn how to subvert democracy for a few million bucks, gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon would be a superb guide.

Music

Bobby Previte / Jamie Saft / Nels Cline: Music from the Early 21st Century

A power-trio of electric guitar, keyboards, and drums takes on the challenge of free improvisation—but using primarily elements of rock and electronica as strongly as the usual creative music or jazz. The result is focused.

Books

Does Inclusivity Mean That Everyone Does the Same Thing?

What is the meaning of diversity in today's world? Russell Jacoby raises and addresses some pertinent questions in his latest work, On Diversity.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews
Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.